The 174th Anniversary of the National Flag Theme: “The Lone Star: A symbol of Peace and National Unity”. Delivered by: Hon. Millias Z. Sheriff Assistant Minister, Technical and Vocational Education Training Ministry of Youth and Sports

His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President, Republic of Liberia;

Honorable Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor, Vice President, Republic of Liberia;

Honorable Speaker Dr. Bhofah Chambers, and Members of the House of Representatives;

Honorable President Pro-Tempore Albert T. Chie, and Members of the Liberian Senate;

His Honor, Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor, Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia, and Members of the Judiciary;

The Dean and Members of the Cabinet;

Excellency, the Doyen and Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps and other Foreign Dignitaries Here Present;

Representatives of Local and International Organizations;

Prelates, and Members of the Clergy, Heads and Members of Religious Institutions;

Chief Zanzan Kawar, Chair of the National Traditional Council of Chiefs, Elders and Zoes;

Heads of Political Parties, Civil Society Organizations and Heads of Educational Institutions;

Presidents and Chairpersons of Youth and Student Organizations;

Presidents and Chairpersons of Women Organizations;

Members of the Business Community; Most especially the Market women and men;

Yana Boys and Girls; Bus and Taxi Drivers; Tricycles and Motorcycles Drivers;

Wheelbarrow Operatives;

Disadvantaged and Physically Challenged Citizens;

Students and Teachers;

At-risk youth/Zogos;

Members of the Fourth Estate;

Distinguished Guests; Fellow Liberians, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Please join me in a moment of silence for those of our compatriots who have succumbed to death, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent sinking of the boat, Niko Ivanka. (Pause). May their souls rest in perfect peace.

Today marks a great day in my life, a man who hails from Grand Capemount County, specifically Baaka, Porkpa district and Bandor, Tewor District which are representations of my parental lineages to have been favored by the Almighty Jehovah and selected by men to serve as the “KEYNOTE SPEAKER” for the 174th Anniversary of the National Flag. This day will not only go down in history with my role played here today but will serve as motivation for my children (born and unborn), friends, relatives, and my community (Youth)….am forever grateful.

As a member of the Youthful population of our country, which constitutes more than 60% of our country’s total population, I see my preferment not as an opportunity to mount this podium to be ostentatiously verbose, but rather as an avatar of President Weah’s dream to recognizing young people to positively contribute to the narratives of our country’s checkered history.

The task given me is huge but to whom much is given, much is expected. I see this as a responsibility not to only convey my personal thoughts but to create a space for the total recognition and value of the “National Flag” under whose ambience, we all as Liberians have pledged our allegiances. In this light, am dutifully honored to speak to you on the THEME: “The Lone Star: A symbol of Peace and National Unity”.


Mr. President, Madam Vice president, distinguished ladies and gentlemen……..

On October 25, 1915, the National Legislature of the Republic of Liberia approved an Act that declared the 24th Day of August each year as “National Flag Day” to be observed as a “National Holiday” throughout the Republic of Liberia; signifying the significance of honoring this day by all citizens of the Republic of Liberia in confirmation of their commitment and loyalty to the nation-state through our National Banner.

On July 10, 1847, seven distinguished ladies were commissioned by Joseph Jenkins Roberts, Governor of the Commonwealth of Liberia to produce the National Flag with the sole purpose that it could be hoisted on our Independence Day of July 26, 1847, but due to situation beyond the committee’s control, the flag was not hoisted on our Independence Day of July 26, 1847. The National flag of Liberia was designed and hand-stitched by seven noble Liberian women chaired by Susannah Elizabeth Lewis, including other gallant women like Matilda Newport, Rachael Johnson, Mary C. Hunter, Mrs. J. B. Russwurm, Collinette Teage Ellis, and Sarah Draper. The flag they designed was adopted on 24 August 1847, about a month after Liberia had declared her Independence on 26 July 1847.

The Liberia National Flag is modeled after the United States. The Liberian Flag has five different sizes; The Garrison flag, Port flag, Storm flag, Interment flag and the Vehicle flag. The Liberian flag consists of eleven stripes; six red and five white, displayed horizontally. There is a blue square canton extending from the left top corner of the flag to the bottom of the third red stripe and a large white five-pointed star super imposed in the exact center of the blue canton. The eleven stripes commemorate the eleven signers of the Declaration of Independence of the Republic, the five-pointed star represents the only “Black Republic” in Africa at the time and the blue canton represents the continent of Africa. The exact shade of the blue in the flag is Navy Blue, which symbolizes liberty, justice and fidelity; the exact shade of the white in the flag is Pure White, meaning the achromatic color of highest brilliance and symbolizes purity, cleanliness, and guilelessness; and the exact shade of red in the flag is Ruby Red, which signifies steadfastness and valor.

As a National symbol, the Flag must be respected when it is raised, lowered and in procession. In accordance with the Patriotic and Cultural Observances Law of Liberia, Chapter 2, section 36, it shall be unlawful for any person to deface, defy, desecrate, destroy, disfigure, mutilate or trample on the NATIONAL FLAG of the Republic with intent, in so doing, to cast contempt on the same or disrespect to the Republic.

To this Flag, our allegiance is pledged, “The Lone Star: A symbol of Peace and National Unity”.


Mr. President, Madam Vice president, distinguished ladies and gentlemen……..

The Lone Star is the personification of our existence as a sovereign nation; an established “Land of Freedom,” which has always struggled with its heritages: Traditional Heritage, Islamic Heritage and Western heritage thus culminating into the long standing divisive nomenclatures of “Indigenous Liberians (Natives) and the Americo Liberians (Congo/Congau). Liberia is such a unique country that has a special place in history.  In spite of the complexity of our founding as a nation state, our nation has managed to navigate and overcome difficulties that have challenged our existence as a nation-state.

The vision of our forbearers was to have us existing as a single people. This pursuit of Unity and peace saw the coming together of territories and self-acclaimed country to unite under a single Flag, “The Lone Star: A symbol of Peace and National Unity”.

Today’s occasion presents a perfect opportunity to look back on the struggles and sacrifices of our founding fathers and their motivations and dedications to have us united under one banner and pursue a prosperous future for all”. Historically, Liberia is the oldest Republic in Africa and stretches along the West African Coast. Liberia was established in 1822 as a destination for freed American slaves. The Republic of Liberia was officially founded in 1847 with a constitution that mirrored that of the United States. From then began the voluntary migration of African slaves or black people to the West African country for the promise of a better life in Africa.  We had three original counties; Montserrado, Grand Bassa and Sinoe (1839), followed by Maryland (1857) and Grand Capemount (1924) and Nimba, Margibi, Lofa, Bong and Grand Gedeh (1964), Bomi and Grand Kru (1984), River Cess (1985), River Gee (2000), and Gbarpolu (2001).

The gradual expansion of the country and its population thereby engendering Unity achieved a single purpose of pledging allegiance to the National Flag, a feat that undeniably remains the functionality of the reality of our existence. Indeed, “The Lone star: a symbol for peace and national unity” propelled us to unite as a country beyond ethnicity, religions, and political affiliations. Where do we stand as we retrospect on the glorious old vision of Unity and Peace under a single banner? Are we living up to that vision? Is the Flag being truly revered and its significance recognized? These are questions that just don’t need our sober reflection as a nation but the desirability to make things right and get us back amongst the comity of nations.


Mr. President, Madam Vice president, distinguished ladies and gentlemen……..

Our flag is more than just an emblem or a symbol. It goes beyond the identification of our country and represents the pride and respect for the ideals and purpose for which our nation-state was established. It is a symbol of liberty, strength and most importantly ‘UNITY’ which is our main source of pride and inspiration.

Liberia is a unique country and our history of projecting Unity and Peace under the auspices of our National banner is replete with instances where we have put aside our individual differences and stood together as one people, one nation and with a common destiny:

During our civil war particularly in 2003, all sides to the conflict at a very short notice agreed to halt all military hostilities and allowed the National Football team (The Lone Star) honor an international football match against Ethiopia at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium down town Monrovia. Amidst the threats of insecurities and other negatives, Liberians in their numbers defied all the odds and gathered at the ATS in unity and cheered the Red, White and Blue. Prior to the days leading to the match, there were intense exchange of gunfire, mortar rounds and other heavy artilleries and the possibility that the game would have been played was almost nonexistent. That is a testament of the power of the unity the flag brings.

During our turbulent times, when our country’s history was being subjected to the act of carnage and possible termination of historical existence, there stood a nationalist who was raised by a remarkable grandmother in person of Emma Forky Klon Jlaleh Brown. This individual bears the flag of Liberia in the footballing world, thereby projecting the positive image of this country. He was hailed and highly supported by every Liberian not because of him as an individual but rather because of the patriotism he demonstrated by flying our National Flag or color. He’s no other but our once favorite Oppong and our present George Manneh Ousman Tarnue Gbekubeh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia.

Another account was recently at the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan when Joseph Fahnbulleh, a son of Grand Capemount County and others represented the country and flew the country’s flag. Liberians from all walks of life including politicians, policy makers, students, marketers, etc celebrated them as a show of support not only based on their performances, but because they flew a flag that is in the heart of every Liberian; “The Lone Star: A symbol of Peace and National Unity”.

We can go on citing and citing instances upon instances where the flag has served as a unifying magnetic force. So, have you ever ask yourself, why are we always united around the flag but divided on other national issues?

Liberia remains the “Lonestar” of Africa. Liberia championed and lighted the whole of Africa in the midst of colonial darkness. The “Lonestar” brightness provided a path for the whole of Africa to have seen and found its way out of imperial leadership from its colonial masters. Fellow Citizens, Our flag isn’t just a symbol of freedom for us but for the whole continent and it signifies the leadership role that we have played. Our leadership as a nation enlightened the whole of Africa that today our sisterly nations can boast of freedom or sovereignty, “The Lone Star: A symbol of Peace and National Unity” transcends our borders.

The Lonestar as a beacon of hope, freedom and leadership has lost its essence of brightness amongst the nations of Africa. I keep asking myself, where did we go wrong? How is it possible that the once towering and shining “Lonestar” has dwindled? We are no longer playing that Leadership role that we once played in Africa or the world.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I have strongly reasoned that our significance as a nation has dampened due to the lack of leadership, lack of unity amongst us, lack of patriotism and nationalism. Unfortunately as I speak to you today, we still have division existing amongst us due to the senseless civil war which killed approximately 250,000 of our fellow compatriots yet nothing significant has been done to address this situation. As I speak to you today, we still have Liberians who are harboring the irrational belief that Liberia belongs only to them and their families and are not willing to support anyone who is not part of their hegemony. As I speak to you today, Liberia still functions based on class or enclave system. How can we as a people in our daily lives pledge allegiance to the flag, yet we remain so divided?

“The Lone Star: A symbol of Peace and National Unity” should have a resonated effect in our lives, both thoughts and actions. Whenever we pledge our allegiance to the Flag, it should be about projecting our nation-state positively above any individual, political party, religion or tribe; a united people, a people of peace, a people committed to development, a people showcasing the potentials of their country and imaging its relevance. I want to use this historic day to call for the end to impunity and let justice prevailed regardless of who is involved. Let peace, unity and reconciliation flow from Cape Mount, through Cape Mesurado and down to Cape Palmas and let every Liberian put aside their personal egos and see Mama Liberia as the reason for our existence.


Mr. President, Madam Vice president, distinguished ladies and gentlemen……..

Like Socrates said and I quote, “the unexamined life is not worth living’, as we observe the anniversary of our national ensign, it would be prudent enough that we critically examine ourselves as a nation. Let me hasten to say that Liberia seems unpleasant to the core at all levels of our national life.  This dilemma is firmly rooted in our national psyche that makes some people believe that odd behavior, dishonesty, indiscipline, corruption, lies, deceit, enmity, back-biting and morally reprehensible actions, are the normal course of life.

At this juncture, we need a radical national redemption and transformation to address this historical menace that has challenged national progress and development in our motherland. This intervention of change for the good must be firmly rooted in the family as the starting point for subsequent national engagement to lend a new face to this Lone Star banner.   We cannot seek to uphold it forever while at the same time seek to degrade it over land, over sea.  Oh no, no, let’s continuously uphold it forever.

The National Flag as a symbol of Peace and National Unity, must imbue in us, a strong sense of nationalism and patriotism that we do not have to be watched over to do the right thing as a people.  Transforming our road side into dumpsite, physically abusing our children and women in disguise of discipline and pocketing what doesn’t belong to us, are all actions that seek to undermine our solemn pledge of allegiance to our flag.

We must never shy away from the national calling to make Liberia that glorious land of liberty by God’s command.  We are Africa’s oldest independent republic and by that standing, Liberia has been placed in such a unique position of leadership not just in the subregion, but in all of Africa and beyond.

Regardless of our ethnic or political affiliation, we all have a collective duty to protect our nation state and uphold our national values.  No superficial alignment or glorified egotistic parochial standing, is bigger than Liberia.   Unless we realize the awe of the challenge of this national responsibility that has been placed upon our shoulders, we will continue to wallow in an air of fantasy and falsehood as a nation.

Often, we have heard about the crab mentality in our country that seeks to pull down and tear us apart. And on this historic occasion, I want to renew calls for Liberians to individually and collectively pull their resources as a herd of people dedicated to confronting the obstacles that have challenged our resolved to advance in all spheres of our national life.

When we have historically made appointments to public offices to be based on friendship, affiliation and patronage, rather than merit, qualification and experience, there is much to be desired.  When heads of households fail to make full disclosure of incomes to their spouses, there is much to be desired.  When wives cut down on household feeding in favor of clothing and jewelry, while husbands spend more resources on alcohol at entertainment centers at the expense of their children’s education, there is much to be desired.  When boys and girls behave as men and women overnight, there is still much to be desired.  When children become bread winners, risking their lives between running vehicles, while grandmothers sell cold water at traffic intersection, while young men spend quality time playing checkers and at video clubs gambling, there is still much to be desired. When social media post are full of hates and bullying, there is still much to be desired. When the National budget which is a law can be contravened, wherein instead of the Executive branch implementing it in its entirety, said function is being shared by the National Legislature, there is still much to be desired. When the negligence of those in position of public trust lead to national embarrassment and they are not held accountable, there is still much to be desired. We truly need a national redemption. This is a national political quadrant that needs to be holistically addressed at all levels of our society, requiring a national conversation.

On this occasion, I wish to draw national attention to something that has historically bedeviled our political system.  Our failure as a nation to develop a democratic succession plan for national leadership is a quagmire that has haunted us for too long.  Since 1944, we did not experience a smooth transition of power from one democratically elected president to another until 2018, when former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf turned over power to President George M. Weah.

Our problem as a nation has always been power struggle, who sits at the top and call the cards and this has been desecrated with selfishness rather than a realistic vision to transform this country and make it better place for everyone (born or unborn generations). It’s now hard time, as we project the “The Lone Star: A symbol of Peace and National Unity” that we placed emphasis on a democratic succession plan to enable us maintain the gains that have been made and not to encounter any derailment of our successes. Many thanks to H.E President George M. Weah for his selfless show of leadership as we have witnessed legislative elections where opposition became victorious in places considered the stronghold of the ruling party. This signifies the President unwavering commitment to free, fair and transparent elections and subsequent transitions.


Mr. President, Madam Vice president, distinguished ladies and gentlemen……..

As we journey as a nation over the last 174 years, our lives have been intertwined at various times and seasons. With the Lone Star being our symbol of Peace and National Unity, permit me to make recommendations which will enhanced this theme of its theory and become reality of our corporate national life:

  1. There is a need to broaden the scope of our national dialogue by investing in national programs that promote peace and unity


  1. The singing of our national patriotic songs be mandatory at all official programs


  1. There should be adherence to hoisting of the flag on all public buildings as a mark of respect.


  1. The opening of patriotic clubs on schools’ campuses for the purpose of providing a forum for mentoring and teaching the next generation the value of peace , unity, and our Flag and its significance.


  1. The need to decentralized official venues and speakers for August 24.


  1. Transcribing the National Anthem, The Lone Star Forever and the Pledge of Allegiance into our national vocabulary, making it part of our daily lives.


  1. There should be a need to have a National Flag Day’s project or dedicate a tourist site or something as a historical reflection of our diversity and unity.


  1. There should be a rigorous enforcement of a compulsory non-movement of people while the flag is been hoisted.

It is my ardent hope that these recommendations would be accepted as potential tools for promoting the real intent of our Flag; national unity, reconciliation and peace. Finally, as we observe this day, let us rise above pettiness, hate, and division. Let’s retrospect on our role of leadership and positive example in history and embrace every aspect of peace and reconciliation that will get us united and foster development. As the Lonestar continues to fly high with pride and dignity, we must all devote ourselves to defending and protecting our flag as “one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”. May God bless the work of our hands and save the State.


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